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Hey all, I have a 1 and a half year old Corgi dog who seems to have a bit of a barking problem lately.

Initially, for a corgi (which is a breed who tends to be more noisy, I'm pretty sure,) my dog has always been on the more quiet side - even since he was a puppy, he hardly ever barked unless he was getting overexcited or the doorbell rang (which only resulted in one or two quick barks before he quieted down.) But lately I've been noticing that he likes to bark a lot more when somebody leaves him. For example, whenever I'm walking him and he meets a dog, everything goes fine - he's incredibly friendly and sniffs around the other dog. Eventually he'll move away from the other dog to do his business or whatever, and I'll continue the walk, to which he'll follow for about 3 steps before he suddenly wants to turn around and return to the other dog. If the other dog has walked too far away or something, he'll bark a lot. This also happens if he sees another dog from a distance but I don't allow him to get close, and he also barks whenever a stranger or me/my mum (specifically only two of us) leave the house. People leaving the house isn't as bad as seeing dogs outside, though.

He's barked at other dogs leaving in the past, but he's only done it once or twice, and sometimes I use this weird tactic of running away before he can bark (Since I jog with him) and it seems to work in distracting him, since by then he'll stop trying to go towards the other dog. However I've tried this tactic the last time and it did not work - he continued barking even when he couldn't see the other dog, and his barks are incredibly loud - short stature, but his barks rival a golden retriever's. I live in a packed neighbourhood with high rise buildings, and some people here don't have a positive view on dogs, so they find the barking bothersome.

It got so much at one point that I dragged him over to a secluded spot away from sight and just crouched there in an effort to calm him and myself down, since I know it'll only be a worse experience if I walk him while I'm tense with anger. It didn't work, of course, and he continued whining and making noises - even a half-howl. After that he continued tugging and pulling on the leash at random directions, and I eventually ended the walk earlier than usual.

I've asked a few questions about my dog before on this forum, and stated that he does not listen at all when outside, even with good treats like boiled chicken. I've only managed to get him to 'walk properly' by using a technique somebody recommended to me on here, which was to stop every time he pulled and waited until he looked at me - it works, and at least makes him slow down and not pull 24/7. But even then, the fact still remains that he does not listen to anybody when outside, and I have no idea how to stop or at least dull down this barking behaviour except for taking a whole different route to avoid meeting another dog - which I don't want to do, because I want to let him socialize. Any ideas?
 

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First I would NEVER allow my dog to greet other dogs while on leash. It is a recipe for disaster. It forces dogs to greet face 2 face and dogs can find it rude. There is NO NEED for your dog to meet other dogs while on leash. When people do this with me and my dog is on leash, I get very testy about it (even if my dog does not!). This barking when other dogs leave and when seeing other dogs etc. is entirely your fault because you allowed him to meet and greet.

So, there are two things you need to do. First and foremost, NO MORE MEET AND GREET ON LEASH. Your dog does not need to do this. Ever.

Removing the meet and greet thing won't mean he won't still bark and get excited when he sees other dogs. This is because he has learned THEY are more fun than YOU are. So, your job is to be more interesting than the other dogs. Use food, toys, sudden change in direction so he must focus on you, running so he must focus on you.. whatever it takes to be INTERESTING and REWARDING. Second you need to teach him a command and get him solid in that command and teach him to focus on YOU and nothing else when doing that command. In most dogs I teach sit.. but this is a Corgi and they are long so down may be easier. The "job" is the dog is to learn to lie down on cue and look at your face and focus on your face. Start at home and in the house. Work on it every day until the dog is reliable. Do it in every room of the house. It will probably take a couple of weeks to get him to down AND look at your face without looking away AND do it for more than a few seconds. Clicker and food is the best way. I would not feed him a single morsel of food from his dish while teaching this. Make him earn every piece of food he has to eat. You must be 100% consistent in this training and you need a release word. He is to never stop paying attention or break the down unless YOU say the release word. IF he breaks the down, then you are asking too much too soon. The object is to keep the response to the cue positive and for the dog to succeed as much as possible and build duration.

Next you take this down and attention to you outside in your yard. Eventually you train in the front yard.. and eventually elsewhere on the walks. IOW's you increase the distractions until the day comes when you walk him where there are other dogs, people and bicycles and when you see them approach you can step off the trail, ask for the down and have the dog focus on you while the distraction passes by. If he does not, then you are probably asking for too much too soon, so back up.
 

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Sounds like reactivity based on frustration...he's frustrated that he can't go and meet or play with the other dog, so he throws a tantrum. I would suggest heading over to the training forum on this site and reading the reactivity sticky. There is some good pointers in there. http://www.dogforums.com/dog-training-forum/191506-links-books-blogs-etc.html

How are his obedience skills in a boring place, like inside your home? You should be practicing there often, and then bringing those skills outside. First to a familiar place like your yard, or if you live in an apartment the place he visits most frequently to go potty so its still kind of 'old news' and boring. Then take them on the street. You might also consider using a different high-value treat, like lunch meat (try a stinky meat, like roast beef or ham) or cheese. He may not think chicken is that great. It's kind of blah, really, and doesn't have much scent. Dogs like stinky things. Those ONLY get used for walks. Nothing else, so they remain special. Itty bitty pea sized amounts are enough.

Also, no more greeting dogs on walks. If he doesn't expect to greet or play with other dogs, he won't get mad when he doesn't get to. In the future when the issue is better, he may greet dogs if you so choose, but only if he is calm. He is a year old, he does not need to socialize with other dogs. If you want him to play with other dogs, consider setting up a play date instead, where he has little chance to practice that behavior.
 

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Work on attention in the house and take it on the road. In this case simply opening the front door is a whole new world and a training challenge. Work the door with treats and when he is over threshold and cannot look at you then that's your focus area for now. I c/t for eyes on me and sitting as I unlock, open and step out the door. He is fine walking down the front walk and as I open the door, it is the stepping to the front stoop that is the killer here. Suspect that isn't unusual.

Bucky is better when he's moving fast too. In my case he is in danger of getting tangled with trike wheels so it's a bit scary but it sure helps. Turn around when you see other dogs. Hide behind a car and keep him busy with obedience cues. He will know that dog is there but it blunts intensity so is still helpful.

Do not count on limiting meeting dogs helping this quickly. I've been doing this for 2 years and he still screams in excitement when he sees other dogs. We are in group class now. Class is going extremely well but getting to and from is a work in progress. Other dogs are in class for 1 hour. We get to add 10 minutes to either end working on this.
 
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